Engaging in regular physical activity is highly beneficial for heart health. A modest increase to 30-45 minutes of activity, five days a week, can significantly lower the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and other conditions such as certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean strenuous exercise; it includes everyday actions like walking to the shops or taking the stairs.
Physical activity has numerous advantages for the heart by reducing risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol. It also aids in weight management, which can decrease the risk of diabetes and some cancers, while strengthening bones and muscles. Moreover, it has mental health benefits, offering immediate feelings of relaxation, improved wellbeing, and opportunities for socializing, which can enhance overall happiness and confidence.
The Australian Government provides guidelines for different age groups, suggesting moderate and vigorous-intensity exercises. To incorporate more physical activity into a busy lifestyle, it’s recommended to start small, set realistic goals, and gradually build up. Mixing up activities, being prepared for the weather, ensuring safety, and getting active with friends or community groups can make the process enjoyable and sustainable.
While most people can safely engage in light to moderate physical activity, it’s important to listen to one’s body and seek medical advice if any discomfort arises, such as chest pain or difficulty breathing. Before starting a new activity, especially for those with pre-existing health conditions, consulting a doctor is advisable.
- Regular physical activity, even in short increments, can significantly lower the risk of heart disease and improve overall health.
- Exercise benefits not only physical health by managing weight and strengthening bones but also boosts mental well-being by reducing anxiety and depression.
- Starting with small, realistic goals and gradually increasing activity levels is an effective approach to incorporating more exercise into one’s lifestyle.
“Building up your physical activity to the recommended level has many benefits. By making your heart work a little harder, you can cut your risk of heart disease by a third – regardless of your age, gender, income or where you live.”